Benefit claimants absent from their home due to long-term hospital care will only be eligible for six months of housing benefit and not a year, under the draft Universal Credit regulations published earlier this month.
Currently, under special circumstances housing benefit can be payable while you are away from home for up to 52 weeks.
Such circumstances covered include hospital admissions, staying in a care home, providing care for others or being held in custody awaiting trial.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Local Government Association conference in Birmingham this week, Helen Williams, assistant director for neighbourhoods at the National Housing Federation, said: “At the moment if you’re in long-term hospital care or prison your housing benefit rolls on for a year. The draft regulations is suggesting that would go down to six months. So there’s a lot for landlords and tenants to get their heads around.”